I promised to share with y'all any tips and tricks I find useful in staying organized overall. Especially anything that helps our home lives run smoother. Meal time is always one of those events that sneaks up on me. Daily. I've promised myself meal plans full of good food. I've been given solo trips to the grocery store on the weekend to shop in peace. Yet my execution still fails most of the time.
I recently attended a frozen meals workshop that really gave me a new strategy for meal prep. I was given a long list of meats to purchase ahead of time and I felt a bit like I was on a lengthy scavenger hunt. But in the end I had twenty freezer bags full of meat. Three hours and two glasses of wine later I had a freezer full of marinating meat prepped and ready for meals. I'm not certain I would bother with paying for another workshop but I'm glad I attended and learned how simple my dinner prep can become by freezing meal-ready meats ahead of time.
As part of our workshop, we were given the recipes and provided with labels to place on the outside of the bags. The labels listed the name of the meal and the directions for cooking and turning it into a meal. So really, just the meat was frozen. Special note, these are not crock-pot meals but could easily be adapted for that method.
Before this simple labeling step, I would buy extra chicken and ground beef to keep in the freezer but it usually sat untouched for awhile. I'd be clueless come 4:00 as to what to "turn the chicken into". Now I do the dirty work ahead of time. This would be a super fast and effective system to do just once or twice a month. Something about having is already marinated makes all the difference for me. I also cleaned and cut the chicken and mushed up the ground beef and turkey. Everything came out of it's original packaging.
Someone on instagram asked if I bagged my veggies along with my meat and the answer is no. I do keep a lot of frozen vegetables on hand all the time like broccoli, peas, and green beans so there isn't really a need to mix them ahead of time with the meat.
As for execution, I pull the bag out of the freezer at night and pop into the fridge. So far they've been defrosted in time to cook at dinner time. If I don't have all the ingredients to make the specific meal I've pulled because my day runs out of time for a grocery run or at the last minute we're just not in the mood I can just adjust things. For instance, Italian Chicken breasts that are supposed to be used for Chicken Parm, can easily be grilled up and topped over a salad instead. So I still have day-of flexibility.
What are some helpful things that you do with frozen meat or frozen meal prep? I'd love to hear more ideas for making meal time simple. I think this is something we all struggle with, no matter our season of life.